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July 24th, 2020

Adventure racer Marika Wagner returns to swimrun

By Nancy Heslin for SwimrunLife Magazine

SLM: Your last swimrun was the 2018 ÖTILLÖ World Championship when you finished second in the Mixed Division with Apollo Sports teammate Sam Clark (8:30:19). What brought you into swimrun in the first place?

MW: It was Jesper Mars, one of the Original Four, who got me curious about swimrun. We worked together in the fire services.

SLM: You were the first woman in ÖTILLÖ’s history to finish under nine hours in 2015 (08.55.39) when you won the mixed class with Staffan Björklund. Tell us about that race.

MW: Sometimes you just have those magic days when you can push yourself harder than ever before and your body copes, at every level, no matter what you do or how much you suffer, it still feels like there is more. It’s a combination of hard work, focus but even more, a relaxed attitude. This is something I’m still really proud of, breaking ground for women in our sport and it’s still a great motivation knowing I still have the potential to break new ground in the future.

SLM: For the last couple of years, you have been into mountain biking and adventure racing and, among other titles, won the 2018 Åre Extreme Challenge. Can you tell us about that?

MW: Adventure racing is my main focus but you don’t do too many races a year so it’s good to have more sports and races in between. And also there is too much fun to do to choose.

Adventure racing I believe is a good experience for all endurance sports, including swimrun. I’ve learned to endure and to fight through, no matter what. To keep working when it’s hard or when things are not going my way.

SLM: How has corona virus impacted you?

MW: Covid has affected us all but I’ve been healthy and able to train in Stockholm as normal, except for the changes in race schedules. Work has been a little uncertain but we’ve worked together through this spring.

SLM: You have comeback to swimrun and were supposed to race at ÖTILLÖ Engadin at the end of this week but there was a 10-day quarantine in Switzerland for Swedes. What other swimruns are you planning? 

MW: I did several races last season, but smaller distances due to a foot injury. This season I’ve raced Arlanda Aquathlon with my new teammate Alexander Koller. We had hoped to go for it at the 2020 ÖTILLÖ World Championship but it has just been cancelled.

Follow ÖTILLÖ Engadin race weekend live July 24-26.

Follow Marika on Instagram